Saturday, June 4, 2011
Rick Crawford Funeral and graveside.
Distinguished people. Most of these badges have Rick Crawford's fingerprints all over them.
Service Rifle Team wreath.
L-R: David Keys, David Guthry, Daniel Miller, Brandon Jacobs, Gregg Foster, unknown, Katye Foster, Will Foster, unknown, Emily Hogg, Mont Bartling, Alan Wilson, Rusty Hogg, Becky Wilson, Gary Shannon, Karl Schultz, Mitchell Hogg, Mrs Shannon, Ken Gaby, Alan Long, Nez Rongero, Mrs Rongero, Wallace McDaniel, Mark Turner, Tony Miller, Justin Utley, Rol Coggins, Robert Langham, Michael Carter, Keith Stephens, Dave Wilson, Jeff Lin, Ron Chatelein, Tommy Laing, Dick Curry, Ray Diaz, Blake Smith, John Dunaway, unknown, Gregg Troxell, Charlie Wallis, John Izlhoefer, Michael Wilson, Dan Gilmer.
Very impressive to see his shooting family at the church. More Distinguished Rifleman Badges in one place than ever before in Texas. We counted 34. Since there aren't 2000 Civilian DR badges yet, this was over 1 1/2% of all badges given since 1876.
Nice service. Heard stories I hadn't ever heard. Old faces showed up. Wonderful to see his other families.
Laid Rick to rest in a very good spot just inside the Smith County line. Problem is: Rick hates to rest. He likes to drive. He likes to work. He likes to DO things. Big plan and small detail kind of guy. Very rare. From the pallbearer line I saw grown men crying behind their sunglasses. Bitter to leave him there. We want Rick with us. We want to be with him.
He's in heaven. I'm glad for that but as a matter of fact I've been with Rick in heaven. Lots of times. In Heaven with a blank scorecard and a full bullet box as the targets come up in the dawn at Camp Swift. In Paradise picking up the last few pieces of brass and policing the line at Bayou Rifles as they put the targets away. In Nirvana nodding off to the hum of the truck engine as we drove the last few miles of Kentucky on the way to Elizabethtown. Rick coached us through heaven dozens of times in team matches sitting behind the scope at 600 and calling the wind....3:00 Ten. 3:00 Ten. 3:00 X. Straightaway.
So heaven must be very, very, very good. Better than being bunked up in a hut at Camp Perry after lights out listening to Rick and Ivy cellphone chat like two teenagers. Better than sitting back at Mon Ami with a margarita mixed by a yankee. Better than Camp Perry NRA week after the crowd has gone home. It must smell like burnt Varget and Hoppe's #9 and have good range flags. The target carriers must run smoother than Panola. LaBerge must run the pits. The brass never stretches and your barrel throat doesn't erode. You don't have to struggle with your own government for human rights. You must be able to see the front sight AND the aiming black. Probably everyone has good hair.
Rick will get it straightened out. This good-dying-young nonsense seems like a policy developed by folks who have lost touch with the common folks. Corporate blindness. With Rick in charge, the Evil won't make puberty and the Good will be hale and hearty at 140.
We are going on. To Camp Perry and beyond. We are going to stand up a VERY competitive team on Viale range. Panola will shoot. Swift will shoot. If you are working on Distinguished or just getting started you will have your opportunity. Thank God we had him as much as we did. But when I get to Heaven there better be a most excellent explanation of why this was a good idea or flaming angels will be falling from the sky like the old days.
Update: Sunday spent emailing and phoning to make a list of what we need to do to support Highpower Rifle in Texas. Four of us will probably do badly what Rick accomplished effortlessly.